Iran sentences Washington Post reporter to prison term

Judiciary spokesman does not specify length of prison term for Jason Rezaian, arrested in July last year.

Rezaian, 39, was arrested in July, 2014 at his home in Tehran [File: Molly Riley/AP]
Rezaian, 39, was arrested in July, 2014 at his home in Tehran [File: Molly Riley/AP]

An Iranian court has sentenced Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to a prison term, the state news agency has said quoting the judiciary spokesman.

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei did not specify the length of the term, IRNA reported on Sunday.

The Washington Post said the publication was aware of the Iranian media reports but had no further information.

“Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 487 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately,” said Douglas Jehl, foreign editor of The Washington Post.

The US state department also said it could not confirm the sentence.

“If true, we call on the Iranian authorities to vacate this sentence and immediately free Jason so that he can be returned to his family,” a state department spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday.

Espionage charges

Rezaian, 39, was arrested in July, 2014, at his home in Tehran where he had been working as a correspondent for the American newspaper for two years.

He appeared four times since May behind closed doors at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, a special tribunal that presides over politically charged cases or those related to national security.

RELATED: Iranian cartoonist jailed in latest media crackdown

Mohseni Ejeie announced on October 11 that a verdict had been “issued”, and that it could be appealed after being delivered.

Iranian authorities have since refrained from formally announcing the verdict.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said in October that the “vague and puzzling” statement from the Iranian judiciary “only adds to the injustice” surrounding Rezaian’s case.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on October 17 that Iran was trying to resolve the case against the Iranian-American reporter “from a humanitarian point of view”.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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